February 27, 2020 / 8:12 AM / 3 months ago

China aims to bar those infected with virus from crossing borders: health official

FILE PHOTO: People arriving at the Beijing Daxing International Airport wear protective face masks in an elevator of a subway station, as the country is hit by an outbreak of the novel coronavirus, in Beijing, China February 20, 2020. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China will focus on preventing those infected with coronavirus from crossing borders and work to strengthen international cooperation, a spokesman for the National Health Commission (NHC) said on Thursday.

The comments by Mi Feng at a news conference come after the number of new infections overseas exceeded those in China for the first time this week, with Italy and Iran emerging as new focal points.

Some so-called imported cases have already been found, with the city of Shanghai on Thursday saying a coronavirus patient had arrived on Feb. 20 from Iran, having taken a flight via Moscow. The patient, who was wearing a mask throughout the journey, then traveled to Zhongwei via the city of Lanzhou by train.

Shanghai officials said at a separate press conference that they would strengthen their monitoring of people traveling from countries with a large number of infection cases, and would work to prevent people from bringing the virus from overseas.

The government will also work with the World Health Organization to set “prevention and control standards” for cross-border travelers to prevent the spread of the virus, state media cited a government meeting as saying, without giving details.

The market regulator also said it had suspended 11,000 vendors involved in illegal wildlife trade and dropped more than 750,000 items from online platforms related to such trade.

Reporting by Min Zhang, Winni Zhou and Brenda Goh; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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